Storm in a Teacup
Captain Paul Green
Reviewed by Cynthia Moses for Reader Views (02/17)
Captain Paul Green, Author of “Storm in a Teacup,” is from Auckland, New Zealand and spent his earlier years in life ferrying people in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand to an island reforestation project, planting native trees for a bird sanctuary. Later, he began chartering “party cruises” for the general populace. This grew old and he returned to land, but after a year, he grew restless and yearned for the sea beneath his feet. Captain Green had always dreamed of sailing throughout the Pacific Islands and his friends supported him in this new adventure - both financially and physically.
Captain Paul Green obtained the Southern Cross, a “Hudson Force 50 ketch built in 1978 by Choy Lee in Taiwan.” A beautiful sailboat - the authors first! And Captain Green was a very happy man.
“Storm in a Teacup” details the Captain’s 80,000 nautical miles as a journey of discovery. The 'characters' of this true story is the author, his partner Chrissy, the ever-changing crew, and the people of the islands. Chrissy, the co-owner, or close friends wanting to learn the ropes, occasionally crewed for Captain Green. Although more often, the quality and traits of the crew were determined by those who chartered the Southern Cross. Captain Green fully described and explained the responsibility of running a charter boat and all it entails: dealing with a multitude of personalities (some very demanding or domineering, that he needed to control); maintaining his personal physical fitness to enable him to fix minor or sometimes major repairs by himself – occasionally at sea; satisfying the clients wishes to visit or check off an island as ‘been there done that’; ensuring passenger/crew safety and health as he taught them new skills (some became fearful wanting to return or became very dehydrated due to sea sickness); and developing concerns for the environment in both himself and his clients – realizing the damage an anchor can do to a coral reef, preventing petroleum spills, etc. There are numerous things to consider when at sea.
I will be passing this book to my daughter who is learning to sail and is an avid adventurer. She took me sailing in a bay, while explaining some nautical terminology and demonstrating some techniques of sailing. Captain Green explained a few more in his book “Storm in a Teacup,” but some terms he did not explain fully for the novice or non-nautical reader, for instance, the description of his boat (above). What is a ketch? In another passage – “One very sneaky rogue wave came at me on the port side. I never saw it until it was too late; it rolled us over to the gunnels. This would have been okay but, of course, there was another bastard right behind it, so that knocked us right down. Not funny when you are hanging onto the wheel and your feet are hanging straight down into the water out the side of the boat.” What is the port side? What is a gunnel?
Captain Paul Green’s simple, yet vivid depictions of his blue water excursions in the South Pacific Ocean were honest and educational and “Storm in a Teacup” is certainly suitable for adventurous teens or those older adventurous spirits.